The generic “I live in Japan!” post

This, dear Reader, was an entry I spent a fair bit of time working on before throwing my hands in the air and setting aside to finish later. Unfortunately, “later” ended up being a little more than two months from when I’d started writing it.

Whoops.

The pro bloggers, the really good ones, would consider something like this past its prime by now and not worth using – I, however, have no such qualms! Thus, I invite you to enjoy a brief vignette of a night long past but by no means forgotten…


So. I have been roundly chastised for my recent old post, Bad wind. It would seem you all come here expecting a bit of humour, a dash of revelry, and were none too pleased with my sudden, unexpected foray into the dark side.

Very well. Your voices have been heard.

However.

While I shall comply and get things back on a lighter note, I’ve decided that I will passive-aggressively do so with a post about what I did over the weekend; in other words, the exact same shit that every other blogger in Japan writes about.

Told via my unique wit, of course.

Last weekend Quite some time ago now, Yoyogi Park was host to the annual Indian Festival. I hadn’t been to a cultural festival in a couple years, and had never been to Yoyogi Park at all, so I was quite looking forward to it. Nor was I disappointed.

The park is a sprawling forest of green frequented by every flavor of freak and geek imaginable (including, apparently, a roving gang of obnoxious tap-dancers). The place rocks, and I’ll definitely be back.

Showing me around — in fact, the person who told me about the festival in the first place — was Mr. Neil Duckett of neilduckett.com. Doing anything with Neil is like watching a movie with the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He has a quip for any occasion, and can condense his thoughts on a given subject into a short, pithy statement.

Neil on cultural festivals: “Nah mate, I stay for a couple hours, grab some grub, have a few beers and get the fuck out.”

Neil on Japanese girls: “I fuckin’ love ’em!”

It’s hard to argue with sentiments like that.

The festival itself was huge, with a mind-boggling number of stalls and an even more mind-boggling number of foreigners. (Seriously. I had no idea Tokyo had such a large Indian population.) Once we’d gotten our bearings, the first order of business was to procure ourselves some beers. Neil and I took a place in the nearest line… and it was there that we had our first encounter of the night, courtesy of an individual I shall refer to as Strange Black Homosexual Man.

Minding our own business as we were, it was something of a surprise when Strange Black Homosexual Man, a lanky and quite inebriated fellow, wandered up and decided he wanted to start talking to us. Predictably, it wasn’t long before we were hit with that time-honored classic (though with a slight twist), “Where are you guyth from?”

‘Straylia!” Neil practically bellowed. I couldn’t tell if he was being curt with Strange Black Homosexual Man or if that’s just how he normally says “Australia.” Next, it was my turn. I said where I was from.

To which the reply was, “Oh, I’m sorry.”

Protip: That is a good way to get your ass beat!

Luckily for Strange Black Homosexual Man, I wasn’t in the mood for fisting gay people. Hm, that doesn’t sound quite right.

In any case, beers now in hand, we left our new acquaintance and began doing a survey of the fairground in search of something to eat. Thumbing our noses at vendors that would deign to offer Japanese fare at an Indian festival, we headed for a nearby stall and got ourselves some curry, naan and another beer. At one point, Strange Black Homosexual Man came rounding the corner unsteadily, and we quickly moved to avoid being seen.

Once we’d progressed to beer number three – which, as I recall, was a good 200 yen more than the deceptively placed sign had led us to believe — we made our way to the stage to take in a few of the night’s musical acts. These acts, which began with a somewhat unremarkable band playing generic light rock, seemed to follow a cycle of becoming progressively stranger. By the time the positively bizarre troupe of gaudily dressed Japanese ladies took to the stage and began dancing in circles, flapping their arms about and making cluck-cluck sounds (!), Neil and I decided that it was, in fact, time for us to get the fuck out.

But our night was just beginning…

The chills! The drama!
What awaits Mssrs. Ducket and Turningpin as they get the fuck out and venture into the streets of Tokyo?

Who shall join this unlikely duo as the evening unfolds? And what could the 12 Apostles possibly have to do with it?!

Check back for Part 2, coming soon! Not sure when, sorry.

8 Responses

  1. If you said what I think you said when Strange Black Homosexual Man asked you where you were from, then yes, he deserved to be bitch slapped.

  2. SBHM had me in stitches JT !

    I think it was pretty much guaranteed that he “putts from the rough” and disturbingly presumed as we were there together, me .. being bald with facial hair, you being exceptionally well groomed, were also infact frequent visitors to “Brown Town” … how wrong is he.

  3. you should do a post on all the Japan blog persona’s.

  4. Any sorry piece of s*#t that has the nerve to ask you where you’re from and follow it up with “Oh, I’m sorry” deserves the beatdown. In my book, putting someone down for his or her nationality is asking for it. It might not be on par with putting someone down for his or her skin color, but it conveys the same mean-spiritedness.

  5. Now you put me in the mood for naan. I’ll have to find a way to get some Indian food today–

  6. Hey, you live in Japan?! What a coincidence. Makes sense though as I remember you writing something about commuting on the Yamanote, which is unique to Tokyo if my records are correct. Which reminds me, as I also commute on the Yamanote, most of the way from the top right down the left-hand side and round the pointy bit at the bottom, does that mean we work in the same general area? More to the point, if you are up for after-work drinks at any time, let me know, as I have spent much of the last week in front of various computers communicating with an incredible variety of people around the world but actual face-to-face interactions outside of the office have been limited to the staff of my local convenience store and I am looking forward to drinking beer which I haven’t poured myself.

  7. As hilarious to read about as he may be, SBHM was surely worthy of an Headbutt.

    At least that, but preferably a full yell-down war hell ride.

  8. This Neil fellow sounds rather amusing, and it reminds me of one of the things I miss that I just can’t attain in a conversation spoken in Japanese: truly finding something breath-takingly hilarious.

    Japanese jokes just go right over my head.

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